BLAINE, MN – Second periods were problematic for the Amarillo Bulls a season ago and it proved to be the downfall on Thursday afternoon in the 2nd day of the North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota.
The Bulls surrendered a power play goal that snapped a 1-1 tie and fell 3-1 to the defending National Champion Minnesota Wilderness. It was the Bulls second straight loss at the Showcase and it dropped their record to 1-3 overall.
The Showcase schedule continues for the Bulls tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon with a game against one of the most improved teams in the league last season the Minot Minotauros at 1:30 pm. (Pre-game on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and PPV with Fast Hockey at 1:10 pm.)
You couldn’t have asked for a better start to the game for the Bulls as they came out firing and skating in the first 20 minutes. Brady Crabtree gave Amarillo a 1-0 when he batted home a puck from Michael Forman and Zach Sarnowski.
Six minutes later, the Wilderness got their offence rolling when a power play goal tied the game on a shot from the high slot area.
Minnesota out-shot the Bulls 14-5 in the opening period. Goaltender Jacob Weatherly had a good start to the game making some strong saves including several from in tight.
The Bulls spent of the second period killing off penalties, including a four minute minor. Jacob Nitsche and Nick Santoro were solid on special teams. Both even had scoring opportunities on partial breaks up the ice. Minnesota took the lead on a rebound shot on the power play just over seven minutes into the second. The Wilderness outshot the Bulls 16-7 through the middle stanza.
A quick start to the third period gave the Wilderness a two-goal lead on a play near the front of the net. The Bulls got some chances late in the game but were unable to convert on goaltender Chase Munroe.
Weatherly, who made his first start of the season, look strong for Amarillo keeping his teammates within striking distance all game long. The Wilderness outshot the Bulls 38-19 in the game and had seven power play opportunities. The Bulls had three on the man advantage but were unable to push anything through.
After Friday’s game the Amarillo Bulls will close out the North American Hockey League Showcase on Saturday at 9 am versus the Aston Rebels. Both games can be heard live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey.
The Amarillo Bulls return home on Friday, Oct. 16 and Saturday, Oct. 17 when they host the Corpus Christi IceRays at 7 pm. Friday is fan appreciation night, while Saturday is Pink In The Rink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk or by calling 806-242-1122. Additonally, tickets can also be picked up at the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandletickets.com.